Kobe Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks because of an injured left knee, dealing the second major injury setback of the year to the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar guard.
An MRI yesterday revealed that Bryant has a fracture in the top of his shinbone near the knee.
Bryant made his season debut on Dec. 8 after nearly eight months away while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. He apparently was injured again on Tuesday at Memphis while playing his fourth game in five nights.
After playing six games in 10 days, Bryant is out again until February or longer — and the Lakers’ already miserable run of injuries got even uglier.
“You hate it for Kobe,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He has worked so hard to get back, but he’ll be back. He’ll be back in six weeks. We’ve just got to weather the storm until he gets back.”
D’Antoni immediately faced questions about whether the Lakers allowed Bryant to return too quickly from his Achilles injury. Bryant pushed himself to return to the Lakers quickly, but his left leg appeared to be visibly smaller than his right after months of inactivity and atrophy.
“It could happen at any time,” D’Antoni said of Bryant’s latest injury. “That’s part of it. There’s always going to be a risk until he gets used to playing. … That’s just bad luck.”
LAST NIGHT’S HIGHLIGHT
Thunder 107, Bulls 95: Kevin Durant scored 32 points and host Oklahoma City rolled to its eighth straight win.
Russell Westbrook had 20 points and reserve Reggie Jackson 18 to help the Thunder improve to 13-0 at Chesapeake Arena. Oklahoma City is the only NBA team with a perfect home record.
Joakim Noah had 23 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago, which has lost four straight and seven of eight.
The Bulls played without Kirk Hinrich (back tightness) and Luol Deng (sore Achilles tendon), and Jimmy Butler left during the game with a right ankle injury.